The “Asociación de Juristas Globales – Association of Global Lawyers (AGL)” was incorporated in Spain in 2019 as an independent body to facilitate the training, accreditation and promotion of “Global Lawyers”. It is registered in the National Register for Associations (RNA): No. 618508.
We are a young organisation with very experienced people at the helm. We are lean, mean and keen to provide a port of call on the international legal scene for the new professional, “the Global Lawyer“.
In 2009, our founder and president, John Brebner, coined the phrase ‘Dual-training for Global Lawyers’ and devised and launched the ‘English Law Studies (ELS) Course” at the University of Malaga for its Spanish Law undergraduates and local professionals aspiring to make their mark in a rapidly expanding international environment.
This was the first step in what he saw as the emergence of a ‘new professional’, a cross-border lawyer who is fully qualified in both ‘Common Law’ and ‘Continental Civil Law’; a lawyer for the world stage capable of addressing the challenges and profiting from the opportunities of globalisation.
A ‘Global Lawyer’ is defined by the Association of Global Lawyers (AGL)(http://associationgloballawyers.org) as “a lawyer who possesses suitably accredited academic and professional training and/or relevant work experience in the two major legal systems on the planet; ‘Common Law’ and ‘Continental Civil Law’, a high level of proficiency in English and of at least one Continental European language, together with the personal and reputational standing to be able to give competent and ethically appropriate legal advice to the highest standards of skill, expertise and professionalism in the law and practice of both these systems when assisting corporate and individual clients in general or specific cross-border legal issues”.
Today, as the mingling of citizens’ interests across the globe is becoming more and more a fact of life, it is perhaps a little strange that those responsible for the branding and supervision of qualifications within the legal professions are showing signs of developing an increasingly more insular and protective approach to their criteria for the training and regulation of domestic lawyers. As a consequence, such lawyers are often less equipped than they might be to deal effectively with the social and legal realities of the modern world.
It is noteworthy that in this context, the historical ‘instinct’ of the Anglo-Saxons for exporting their own ‘culture’ abroad and the undeniable level of its acceptance on the Continent of Europe has resulted in the English language and the Common Law featuring increasingly in the education of Continental Civil lawyers. By contrast, the training of Common Law lawyers tends to remain entrenched in its traditional comfort zone.
The widely held perceptions that the English language has more or less established itself as the lengua franca, that the administration of Justice in Common Law jurisdictions can properly boast of setting an example in terms of effectiveness and fairness, and that innovative legal solutions to rapidly changing social and economic patterns continue for the most part to be discovered by the Anglo-Saxon schools of thought within the mega law firms as tried and tested in the Common Law courts, have encouraged the view (particularly amongst many native English speaking lawyers) that the principles and methods of ‘English Law’ could (if not should) ultimately prevail across the globe just as the English language is doing.
If that were a realistic prospect in the near future or ever, there would be clearly be little need for ‘Global Lawyers’. But AGL believes that the reality is another.
Other ‘second’ languages are going strong and, particularly in the case of Spanish, growing stronger. One effect of Brexit is likely to be a growing interest on the Continent for adding a third European language (with Spanish, French and German amongst the favourites). The ‘continental civil law’ system that already prevails across more than half the world along with its methodology and accompanying legal culture will be under less constraint to make concessions to the English ‘way’ of doing things. Tomorrow’s ‘Global Lawyers’ will need to be able to operate effectively right across the board. The difference in the ‘rules’ and underlying principles in each of the two systems is only part of the equation. The real stuff of ‘global lawyering’ involves a well-grounded understanding of ‘why’ the rules are what they are and ‘how’ they need to be applied in what <are widely differing cultural environments.
It is something of an irony that because of the spectacularly viable trend for learning English and the increased exposure of professionals on the Continent of Europe to English law, a growing number of European lawyers are becoming very proficient in their command of the English language and increasingly well versed in the methodology and practice of ‘Common Law’. Indeed, we may be close to the point where neither can be said any longer to ‘belong’ exclusively to the traditionally English speaking world.
If, therefore, there is a risk of anyone getting left behind in the development of ‘global lawyering’ as a new and distinct profession in its own right, it may well be the native English speakers. For, in their legal training, foreign languages and Continental Civil Law practice are almost completely ignored because of a still too widely held view that neither are of any great significance in the international arena.
AGL made an early attempt to give visible recognition to the new ‘Global Lawyer’ through its own accreditation of legal professionals who can meet its own approved dual-training qualifications in both Common Law and Continental Civil Law.
How does AGL finance itself?
AGL’s main source of income comes from teaching the English Law Studies (ELS) Course* and the Specialist Legal Training (SLT) seminars, workshops and other events it organises.
*Information about the English Law Studies (ELS) Course can be found on: https://englishlawinspain.org. Information about SLT is provided to registered ELS students
What can being a ‘Glober’ do for you?
You may bee able to accredit your studies and/or relevant work experience in both Common Law and Continental Civil Law with AGL thus making you eligible for membership as a ‘Student Global Lawyer’, ‘Associate Global Lawyer’ or ‘Global Lawyer’ (Glober) depending on the level of your dual-training qualifications, relevant work experience (RWE) and languages proficiency.
On being invited to join as a member, you will receive AGL’s certification of your dual-training status. Details of your qualifications and specialisations can be made available (subject to your consent) to other members, the public or both.
You will receive AGL’s professional and social events that can be both fun and provide invaluable networking opportunities.
Only individuals are eligible for AGL membership, but an organisation that a member works for may take an active role in the programming of AGL’s student global law training and gain visibility with highly talented students for future recruitment.
Examples of membership eligibility (not intended to be exhaustive)
(i) A Spanish Law student taking the AGL’s English Law Studies (ELS) Course or any other AGL approved English law course or an English Law student taking the AGL’s Spanish Law Studies (SLS) Course or any other AGL approved Spanish law course (Student Global Lawyer),
(ii) a qualified Continental Civil Law lawyer admitted to practice or AGL approved equivalent who has a full English graduate law degree or has passed ELS Level 4 (or an equivalent level of any other AGL approved English Law course) (Associate Global Lawyer)
(iii) a qualified Common Law Attorney, Barrister, Solicitor, Associate/Graduate Chartered Legal Executive, Tier 3 PPR registered Paralegal (or AGL approved equivalents), or an English Law Studies (ELS) course student who has qualified at ELS Level 4 (or at an equivalent level in another AGL approved English Law studies course) who has a law degree from a Spanish Law School or has qualified at an equivalent level in an AGL approved Spanish Law Course (Associate Global Lawyer);
(iv) a qualified Continental Civil Law Attorney admitted to practice or AGL approved equivalent who is a qualified Common Law Attorney, Barrister, Solicitor, Graduate/Fellow Chartered Legal Executive, Tier 4 PPR registered Paralegal (or equivalent), or an English Law Studies (ELS) course student who has qualified at ELS Level 5 (or at an equivalent level in any other AGL approved English law course) (Global Lawyer – ‘Glober’).
(iv) a Mediator who has received AGL approved mediation training and certification and gained RWE in both a Common Law and a Continental Civil Law jurisdiction (Global Lawyer – Glober);
(v) an academic with teaching/research experience in the principles, laws and practice of Common Law and Continental Civil Law (Associate or Global Lawyer depending on RWE ),
(vi) a judge, arbitrator or adjudicator with AGL approved Common Law/Continental Civil Law cross-border experience (Associate or Global Lawyer depending on RWE)
Membership of AGL is through invitation. There is no membership fee. AGL will be asked to adhere to AGL’s bylaws and voluntary Code of Conduct.
If you would like to consider becoming a member of the Association of Global Lawyers, please do not hesitate to contact us at: email@example.com or call John on  659 09 77 21. We shall be happy to help.